2009 On-Water Watersports & Wakeboard Demo

On May 13th, Sun & Ski Sports descended on to Indian Lodge Resort in Kopperl Texas for the 4th Annual On-Water Demo. The on-water demo is designed to give our employees an in-depth understanding of all watersports so that they can better serve our customers giving them the greatest support and knowledge when shopping at our stores for that new wakeboard, slalom ski, or wakesurfer. No matter where you shop, Nashville, Houston, Tulsa, Dallas, Cincinatti, etc., Sun & Ski Sports is committed to bring the best staff possible and training them to be exceptional.

Employees from every store came to spend 2 days on the water, behind a boat, to experience and feel the difference between every board so that they can better serve you, our customer, in your next watersports purchase. Our employees will provide knowledge and experience so that you will have confidence in your purchase. Whether you are purchasing your first wakeboard or it is just time to upgrade, Sun & Ski Sports has the gear that you need to make this summer one to remember.

This year, the on-water demo came to the Brazos River just outside of the Dallas-Forth Worth Metro. The Brazos River offers miles and miles of glassy calm water, even when it is unseasonable dry like this year. We stayed right on the river at Indian Lodge Resort where Tim and Barb Jones give new meaning to word host. They graciously let us use their oven when we ran out of oven space, they looked after all of the gear that littered their pavilion, and they even came and hung out during clinics and down time. Our group took up about 10 of the 14 cabins there, we were basically the only ones around for this early-season mid-week, but everyone enjoyed having a cabin/roof over their head compared to the state park camping from previous years. There is a pool, basketball hoop, fishing, and pavilion to enjoy while at Indian Lodge, add Mike Holmes’ inflatable screen and projector and you have a fantastic mid-week (or weekend getaway). Indian Lodge Resort is just over an hour from DFW, 2 hours from Austin, 3 from San Antonio, and a doable 4 hours from Houston or Oklahoma City…all perfect for that weekend wakeboard getaway.

Special thanks to Indian Lodge Resort, Hyperlite, Liquid Force, Byerly Board Co., H.O. Sports, Wakeboard Coalition, Sasser Wakeboard School, Jet Pilot, O’Neill, Helium, Straight Line, and Accurate for making this event spectacular.

RAT Skateboard Tour – Dallas Stop Re-Cap

DALLAS, TEXAS – May 19, 2009 – Some of the best young skateboarders in North Texas gathered outside Sun and Ski Sports at Grapevine Mills last Sunday to compete in the first stop of the newly created RAT Skateboard Tour presented by Texas Scion of Grapevine.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, May 16th, the contest was pushed to Sunday due to some crazy weather conditions that hit hard around 3:00am on Saturday morning and never let up…but as they say in Texas, if you don’t like the weather…wait five minutes and it will change. It took a little more then five minutes, but by Sunday morning, the sun was shining , the skies were blue and it was GAME-ON! The skaters where chomping at the bit to ride, the crowd gathered around the mini-ramp, the Monster Energy Drinks were flowing and the music was pumping out from under the Skullcandy tent with DJ Joey B.

The event featured a mini-ramp competition as well as a street “Best Trick” format on a select obstacle (which will change at each stop of the tour). The action kicked off a little after 11:30am with Heat #1 of qualifying on the mini-ramp. Designed and built by Oliver Bradley along with Mike Crum and the crew at Push Productions, the ramp was impressive. Measuring 30’x30′ with five and half foot walls and a seven foot extension, it was anything but “mini”. This was the first time that the ramp had been fully assembled since it was constructed at the end of April and it was worth the wait.

By all accounts, the first stop of the RAT skateboard series was a huge success. It turned out to be a great family affair with killer weather, great crowds and some insane amateur skating! Congratulations to all of the competitors for putting on a great show and to our overall winners – Ke’Chaud Johnson, Edward Montes and Josh Hurley on the mini-ramp and Ke’Chaud, Mark Roberts and Rowdy Altum in Street “Best Trick”. The crowd also got to see pro rider and local legend, Jon Comer skate the new ramp set-up. The overall vibe was good!

Special thanks to all of our sponsors and partners who made it happen including our presenting sponsor – Texas Scion of Grapevine, our retail partner Sun and Ski Sports, Monster Energy Drink, FUEL TV and their local affiliate – Time Warner Cable, Kicker Audio, Skullcandy. Element and PUSH Distributions brands – GUAPO, Hype, and City Stars.

For a complete overview of how the day unfolded as well as round-by-round results and plenty of great photo’s, go to www.SkateTheRAT.com.

Next up the RAT heads to Austin, Texas on June 6th for stop number two. This time we are taking the action to the Round Rock Skate Park which is a great new facility just North of town. Check it out at www.roundrocktexas.gov/skatepark. Online registration is open at www.skatetherat.com and judging from the feedback we received last weekend…the field is sure to fill up quickly.

Stay tuned to FUEL TV for upcoming coverage of the RAT’s first stop on the Weekly Update Show!

Local amateur skateboarders get their chance to shred this Saturday in Grapevine

Photo: Geiger Media - The mini-ramp and box, to be used in the street portion of the competition, were constructed at the Guapo Skillz Center in South Dallas.

By Erin Rice

According to recent statistics, at least one in every ten children in the United States owns a skateboard, with around 9 million active participants each year. Between 2002 and 2007, female participation increased more in skateboarding than any other sport. In North Texas, this most accessible of the “extreme” sports is growing in popularity and gaining more mainstream acceptance as public skate parks are being approved and built in several cities.

As popular as skateboarding is in the region, there isn’t a wealth of opportunities for young riders to compete at an amateur level. But with baby steps, that could change soon. As soon as this weekend, in fact.

On Saturday, May 16, Dallas-based Geiger Media will host the first stop of the Regional Amateur Tour (RAT) outside the Sun & Ski Sports at Grapevine Mills. With a total of four stops around Texas, the competition will include a mini-ramp and a street “Best Trick.”

Geiger Media’s founder, Bill Geiger, has had prior success with tours of this type in another board sport, wakeboarding. In 2004, he founded the Texas Wakeboard Tour with a number of stops aimed at promoting the water sport throughout the southwest. Geiger anticipates that the RAT will grow in popularity in much the same way.

“When I started the wakeboard tour it was all very amateur, but as we built it up the money got better and then the pros started to come.”

Speaking to skateboarding’s following in this region, and the desire for a place to compete, the RAT had no trouble getting participants. Though the organizers originally put a limit of 20 on the number of entries in mini ramp, Geiger noted that early this week, only two weeks after releasing the tour’s website, they’d easily reached their number and would likely accept additional riders. Throughout the two parts of the competition, street and mini-ramp, he said the ages of participants vary from eight- to 24-years-old.

While the RAT is an amateur tour, looking at the sponsorships you could mistake it for a pro event. Top-billed sponsors include Texas Scion of Grapevine, Sun & Ski Sports, Monster Energy Drink, Fuel TV and Time Warner Cable. In addition to sponsoring the event, footage from the four stops will be aired on Fuel TV, associated with Fox Sports and piped into tens of million of homes throughout the U.S.

Also helping to put on the tour is Push Distributions and Productions, a local manufacturer and distributor that oversees three skate brands: Hype!, Guapo, and City Stars. Mike Crum, an original X-Gamer who works with Push and helped construct the mini-ramp that’s being used this Saturday, is excited about the impact of a competition like this on young Texas riders.

“In California they see events like this all the time. Tony Hawk skates at the skate parks. But here – bringing something legit like this to Texas – it’s way more of a big deal for the kids.”

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The RAT kicks off this Saturday at the Grapevine Mills Mall. Located just outside the Sun & Ski Sports, action begins at 11 a.m. and will continue through 5 p.m. There will be a live DJ spinning tunes and a number of sponsor tents. But, most importantly, there will be tons of local amateur skateboarders shredding the lot all day long. The event is free to watch.

Shifting Gears — Wayne & Anna Tackle New Endeavours

Once again, Anna’s gonna hate me for a long blog!
We had a blast training for and completing the MS 150 with the assistance of Sun & Ski Sports.  It was one of those things to mark off of life’s “bucket list”.  Through their expertise and vast knowledge, we were able to achieve what we thought was the unthinkable.  With just an ounce of drive and determination, any able-bodied person can make the cycling journey.  Two weeks after the actual MS 150, Team Sun & Ski member Mandy and I, at the last minute, decided we would ride our bikes from Houston to Beaumont during the Tour du Rouge Day 1 of 6 ride…. that’s 82 miles!  On that same day, Anna caught some waves wakeboarding (a heck of alot funner than waterboarding) at the Houston Watersports Complex (http://www.nautiqueway.com).  The videos from those two adventures are upcoming, I promise (all that MS 150 training time slammed me at my real-person job… just trying to play catch-up!)
 
So a few weeks ago, Anna and I were talking about “what’s next”.  Ok, we’ve trained to ride a bike and came to the end of that journey, so the most logical thing would be to push ourselves a little further, right?  With that in mind, we have two very important announcements to make….
1) We are going to train for…. stay seated everyone… the Chevron Half-Marathon in January!  Why is this important?  Well, in case you didn’t know, Anna and I are formerly very heavy people who, up to this point, had absolutely no interest in running anywhere but to the donut shop.  In junior high, I HATED running the one mile run every few months.  Actually, I remember having between 16-18 minute miles.  There was no reason to get all worked up about running around the soccer fields… it should be VERY interesting running 13.1 miles throughout Houston.  I always heard marathoners have toe nails fall off, and all sorts of strange maladies.  As time goes by, I will let you know if that’s the case….
 
Cycling season is now over, but somehow Anna and I must continue our weight loss journey.  The bikes were actually extremely effective at helping us shed the pounds (phase 1), but they are not very good at helping us further shape and tone our bodies.  So, after careful consideration of other alternatives, Anna and I have decided a way to enter our phase 2 of weight loss… join a gym!  So, our next big announcement….
 
2) We are partnering with FIT Athletic Club (http://www.fitathletic.com) (corner of West Gray and Waugh, above the Marshall’s store…. and conveniently located next to Luby’s! Not that I’ve seen the inside of that restaurant in the past 4 months).  We had seriously considered joining some of the major chains, and some other mom-and-pop ones, but we opted for FIT for several reasons, which you will see on future video blogs.  One of my biggest selling points is the convenience and scheduling of group workouts (Spin Classes, Pilates, etc.).  Anna likes the amenities and cleanliness of the bathrooms.  The locker rooms are seriously decked out with more Q-Tips and Scope than anyone would use in a lifetime!  Also, they don’t have that “gym funk” smell.  I am not sure exactly how old the gym equipment is, but it looks like it can’t be more than a few weeks old.  Meticulously cleaned and cared for, you’re not going to find pools of sweat on the stationary bike handlebars!  Also, I haven’t had to wait in any lines, even in peak periods throughout the day, to use any of the gym equipment.  We are still new to the “gym work-out” world, so I’m gonna say that as of now, our video blogs from FIT Athletic will be, at the very least, entertaining.
 
So, that’s what I have to share with you now.  In the coming weeks, and throughout the summer, look for updates regarding our FIT Athletic Club work-outs, our running updates while training for the Chevron Houston Marathon, as well as fun and exciting Summer adventures highlighting all the sports you didn’t know Sun & Ski could outfit you for! 

Getting Outfitted for a New Bike

Buying a new bicycle can be an overwhelming experience with all the choices available today. This is where the knowledgeable Staff at Sun and Ski Sports can advise toward purchasing the right bike by asking the right questions. They are a full service bike shop carrying leading brands of bikes and accessories, providing professional bike fitting, and servicing all brands of bicycles. Sun and Ski Sports makes the bike buying experience easy with their “Cyclist’s Checklist” to prepare you for a safe and comfortable ride.

Sun and Ski Sports has a dedicated “Fit Center” where the Fit Specialist checks saddle height, knee/pedal relationship, and handlebar reach. For the new cyclist, this is also an opportunity to learn how to use the bike’s gears and clip-less pedals. Bicycle fit is the most important part of purchasing a new bike. This will ensure that you are comfortable, develop your leg muscles properly, and take care of your knee and hip joints.

Popular types of bikes that are available today
Road Bike: The choice for long distance riding, racing, bike club riding, triathlons, fundraiser rides, and organized rides. They are lightweight, have narrow high pressure tires, and have drop handlebars to get aero dynamic.

Hybrid Bike: Similar to a road bike; the difference is an upright more comfortable position. The tire is wider for bike path, commuting, and city streets. This type of bike would work for all the road type rides (over 10 miles), but not as efficient because of weight, wind drag, and rolling resistance.

Comfort Bike: For the casual rider not interested in speed and distance (10 miles or less). This type of bike is designed for comfort with adjustable upright positioning, front suspension forks, suspension seat posts, and wider tires. The perfect bike for bike path, neighborhood, vacation house, and hard pack gravel road or trail.

Mountain Bike: The best choice for getting out in the woods and riding on the dirt trails. This is the most versatile bike on the market; you can ride on the street, dirt, and bike path. Mountain Bikes have front suspension and knobby tires for grip in the dirt (Not recommended for distance road riding).

Once the right bike and size has been selected, there are accessories that will make the riding experience safe, comfortable, and prepared for the beginner. This is where the Sun and Ski Sports Cyclist’s Checklist comes in. The Staff will walk through the list and get the beginner cyclist outfitted. The first and most important accessory is a helmet! Cycling apparel is designed to wick perspiration away from the skin to keep the cyclist dry. When the weather turns cold and wet, there is apparel for the elements. Cycling shoes and clip less pedals will enhance performance on the bike.

A bicycle is a mechanical machine that requires maintenance. Sun and Ski Sports takes care of all the new
bike break-in with their Lifetime Inspections and Adjustments. Tune-ups and repairs should be done at the bike shop, but you will want to have some tools at home and on the bike. Take advantage of Sun and Ski Sports Basic Repair Classes (these classes are free); call the store nearest you for a schedule.

Sun and Ski Sports offers Lifetime Flat Insurance, for a one time $20.00 fee, the original owner gets flats fixed for the life of their bike. Bike or wheel needs to be present. A floor pump with a gauge is needed for high pressure tires and home use. These tires need to be checked and aired up before every ride.

A saddle bag fits under your seat and allows you to carry spare tubes, travel tools, tire levers, and Co2 adapter/cartridges. Co2 is used as instant air for repairing a flat tire on a ride. As you can see, there are many accessories in addition to the bike itself. They are all worth the investment to make cycling more enjoyable. The sport of cycling is great way to enjoy the outdoors, meet new friends, and get into shape!